This week Microsoft held its Windows 10 device event showcasing their latest and greatest for both consumers and enterprise.
• The event kick started with their entertainment platform Xbox, with Windows 10 coming to Xbox One later this year. It brings improved user experience, performance and the ability to run their previous generation of software which has been their most requested feature since launch.
• Next was a new HoloLens demo: the presenter used a new hand held controller whilst wearing the device and battled augmented reality robots live on stage. Visually this was very impressive for an untethered device (ie. Not connected to a PC). After this the development kit was announced for Q1 2016 with a price tag of $3000.
• The focus then was on fitness with the unveiling of Microsoft Band 2. The new band features a sleeker design with curved screen and new Barometer which measures elevation for more accurate “caloric burn” readings.
• Multiple Microsoft phone announcements followed with the Lumia 550, 950 and 950XL. The two 950’s were the real attention grabbers and feature high performance with liquid cooling and twin antenna for greater connectivity. Continuum (connecting Windows 10 phone to keyboard and screen through a dock + mouse to use as a PC. USB memory sticks and hard drives can also be used and in this mode the interface looks and feels like any other PC, at the same time the phone can still be used as a phone.
• From phones to tablets, Surface was next. The Surface Pro 4 us announced with a larger screen, without increasing the size of the device, thanks to smaller bezels. The new Surface is also thinner, more powerful and with better battery life. Also included is a more advanced stylus with 1-year battery and a new improved, but still optional keyboard with bigger trackpad, separated keys and a fingerprint scanner. These new accessories can also be used with last year’s Surface Pro 3.
• Next Microsoft borrowed the Apple “one more thing..” to announced a new product entirely called the Surface Book. This device is a premium laptop, which you can also rip the screen off to use as a tablet. The base also contains additional computing and graphic processing adding up to 2x the performance of a Mac Book Pro.
All in all, Microsoft announced a lot this week in New York and won the attention and rare applause of their sceptical industry audience . Microsoft is now selling a very compelling ecosystem of not just software and services but also hardware tailored to both. It has a tremendous battle ahead with its rivals, but they have certainly put their best foot forwards to bring genuine intrigue and excitement which was arguably lacking from many recent tech events by Microsoft, Google and Apple.